In my search for small desserts, I stumbled on this delectable-looking recipe. It looked straightforward to make, with ingredients largely on hand, and I so rarely make bars that it seemed a good time to add to my rather meager repertoire. Plus, I’m always a sucker for a tasty blond.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
¾ cup salted peanuts, chopped
1 tsp fleur de sel
Heat oven to 350 F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″x2″ baking sheet with nonstick baking spray.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla paste and beat for 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips and beat until evenly distributed.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts and fleur de sel over the top. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until edges appear crisp and top is slightly golden. A toothpick inserted in center should come out with a few moist crumbs on it. Let the blondies cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack before cutting with a sharp knife. Once cooled, can be stored in airtight container for up to 4 days.
A few notes on preparation: I couldn’t find vanilla bean paste, so I substituted the same amount of vanilla extract. I also used semisweet chocolate chips.
I didn’t really know what to expect, but these were super scrumptious. Crunchy on top and chewy in the middle. The salted peanuts added a fantastic complement to the sweetness of the bar itself. Salty and sweet, my favourite combination!